In the United States, more than 230,000 women and approximately 2,600 men receive a breast cancer diagnosis each year. Addressing the physical demands of the disease, however, is just one part of a comprehensive treatment regimen for breast cancer; treatment must account for patients' psychological needs as well.
Breast Cancer Awareness
In this post, we aim to cut through the media “noise” by collecting some of the most honest, insightful, and poignant pieces of journalism written about breast cancer over the past several years. These articles have been carefully hand-selected to help readers consider the broad spectrum of facts and opinions available today. Each has helped further the dialogue and deepen our awareness and understanding of this damaging disease.
While breast cancer survival rates have improved in recent years, not all populations have benefited equally. Understanding the forces that drive these disparities is the first step to closing the gaps in prevention and treatment.
There are a vast number of factors that help identify who is at risk for breast cancer, and while certain factors may be beyond your control, some are behaviors you are able to change. Taking the time to educate yourself about the risks is the first step in reformed behavior.
Many primary care providers and leading health care organizations have differing opinions on the benefits of breast self-exams. However, most agree that decisions about screenings should be personalized and based on the patient's risks and values.
Cancer advisory groups continue to disagree on the efficacy of the breast self-exam (BSE). Lacking sufficient documentation of reduced deaths, balanced with unnecessary follow-up testing, some organizations have recommended discontinuing the breast self-exam. Others acknowledge that BSEs serve a role in “breast awareness,” which is a more comprehensive approach including education, anatomy, self-advocacy, and understanding.
For Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Nursing@Simmons put together the following resource guide to highlight some of the groups and organizations that serve patients, caregivers, families, and anyone impacted by breast cancer. The list includes resources related to financial assistance, community-based support, advocacy, and coping with the diagnosis, treatment, and recovery.